Day shows learning English can be fun and games
At Lee I-Yao Memorial Secondary School, an 'English Speaking Day' is held twice a year.
On these days, teachers and students use only English during lessons and breaks.
This is a good idea, but hard to put into practice, so this year there were some activities to encourage English usage.
Five senior students were issued 'Language Police' warrant cards. Armed with bags of sweets, their duty was not to punish the students, but to reward the use of English when they heard it.
Some students were pleasantly surprised to be given a sweet when they spoke to a teacher or student in English.
Some competitive games took place throughout the day. One was a 'find-the-mistakes' competition, which proved to be difficult for most students.
Here is a sample. Can you find the mistake? To use the phone: 1. Lift handset 2. Insert monkey 3. Dial number and wait for connection 4. Replace handset when your call is finished.
What about this one? Helen Collins, the film star, became ill while she was having her hair cut at a Tsim Sha Tsui salon yesterday. The hairdresser took Miss Collins outside to get some fresh hair and she soon felt better. She returned to the salon and told reporters she was pleased with her new style.
Another competition kept the English teachers busy during the day. They all had a 'secret word', which the students had to discover by asking.
These words, when re-arranged, formed a sentence. The first student from each form to say the correct sentence received a prize - a koala bear from Australia.
Can you unjumble the secret sentence? It use must we English learn to want we if often practise and day every.
At lunchtime and after school, there was a buzz of activity in the playground.
At two tables, students tried to guess what was in a box by asking yes/no questions.
Nearby, senior student helpers asked students general-knowledge questions. At other tables, students could 'Ask any question' and get an answer from a senior student helper. (Not always a true answer!) Teachers participated, encouraging students to join in and demonstrating the activities. It was a successful day with a very positive atmosphere. Using English is sometimes seen as hard work, but we found it could be fun, and we can't wait for the next 'English Speaking Day'.
Mrs Chenoweth is the school's native English-speaking teacher from Melbourne, Australia